AFP reports: Abandoned by France, defied by eastern Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel cuts a lonely figure in her struggle for EU “solidarity” on the refugee crisis ahead of a Brussels summit.
Merkel is battling for a deal that will see refugees more evenly spread around the European Union after Germany welcomed 1.1 million asylum seekers last year.
But instead, eastern European countries are planning new razor wire fences, and even Paris — traditionally Berlin’s closest EU ally — has shown little enthusiasm for Merkel’s welcome policy.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Saturday that the mood in France was “not favourable” to Merkel’s call for a permanent quota system.
“Europe cannot take in all the migrants from Syria, Iraq or Africa,” Valls told German media. “It has to regain control over its borders, over its migration or asylum policies.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry praised Merkel for showing “great courage in helping so many who need so much” amid “the gravest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II”.
But he also told the Munich Security Conference that the mass influx spells a “near existential… threat to the politics and fabric of life in Europe”. [Continue reading…]